G & S Heating Cooling & Electric Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Fall City’

Why Hire a Professional to Install a Smoke Detector?

Friday, February 27th, 2015

When you are at home, whether awake and in a productive mood or fast asleep in bed, you should feel safe. While modern appliances, heaters, and electrical systems are all safer than ever before these days, the fact remains that there is always a chance of something going wrong in your home. Whether due to outside forces, a knocked over candle, or any other potential catalyst, there is simply no way in which you can ever rule out the possibility of a fire breaking out in your home. What you can, do, is hire a professional install a smoke detector in your Fall City home. When you do so, make sure that you dial our number. The electricians here at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. will ensure that the job is done right every step of the way.

One of the main reasons to schedule your smoke detector installation with a trained professional is to ensure that your smoke detector is optimally placed in your home. Needless to say, and for obvious reasons, you want your smoke detector to sound the alarm as soon as possible, should a fire start in your home. This will not be the case, though, if your smoke detector is not optimally situated. In a situation where every second truly does count, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Additionally, your electrician can determine if multiple smoke detectors are required throughout your home. By having a professional assess your living space, make recommendations, and install your smoke detector properly, you are taking the first steps towards living with the peace of mind that you deserve.

Another reason as to why a trained professional should handle your smoke detector installation is the fact that you really ought to be using a smoke detector that hard wires directly into your electrical system. Yes, your devices should have batteries in them. However, this is as a back up should anything go haywire with your electrical system. If you are relying solely on batteries to keep your smoke detector up and running, you are allowing for a level of human error that you simply cannot afford in your home. Contact us to have your smoke detector professionally installed by a professional you can trust.

We never want to thing about situations such as the possibility of a fire breaking out in our homes. However, preparation for just such events is absolutely necessary.

Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.  to have quality smoke detectors installed in Fall City.

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North Seattle Air Conditioning Guide: What Professional AC Maintenance Includes

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Besides the cool air, what we like most about air conditioning in North Seattle is that we don’t have to do anything to still live in a cool climate when it’s boiling outside.  With programmed thermostats adjusting the temperatures automatically, we don’t even have to turn it on.

Annual Service

Air conditioning units are designed to last for quite a while, so long as they are maintained regularly.  A service contract with a reputable company ensures reliable maintenance and establishes a relationship so that if anything should go wrong, your call for help will be at the top of the list with a mechanic who likely knows the details of your particular unit.

Maintenance often includes:

  • a check for the correct amount of refrigerant in the system;
  • a pressurized system test for any leaks using an actual leak detector tool;
  • a controlled evacuation and disposal of any excess refrigerant instead of an illegal toss in the dumpster;
  • a check for and seal of any duct leakage within the in central systems;
  • a measure of air flow through the evaporator coil;
  • a verification of the correct electric control sequence, making sure the heating and cooling systems cannot operate simultaneously;
  • an inspection, cleaning and maintenance of the electric terminals and applying a non-conductive coating if necessary;
  • a check of all belts for tightness and wear;
  • a check for oil in the motors;
  • a check for the accuracy of the thermostat.

Call G & S today to schedule your maintenance visit!

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Window Units vs. Ductless Splits for Air Conditioning in Seattle

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

If you cannot afford or do not have duct work to support a central air conditioning system, there are two options – window units or ductless units in Seattle are a great alternatives. But, which is better? It depends largely on your budget, whether you rent or own and if there are any risks inherent in either choice.

Window Units

First let’s look at window units. Window units are the least expensive form of air conditioning systems on the market and don’t require any work on your home to install. They are good for single rooms and smaller apartments as well, and they can usually be installed by one or two people without professional assistance.

The downside of a window unit is that it cannot cool your entire home, even in an apartment. Also, window units tend to block an entire window and they pose a security risk, especially on the first floor. They are easy to remove from the outside and therefore should only be used in extreme circumstances if the window is easy to access.

Ductless Systems

Ductless systems offer benefits that counter all of the downsides of a window unit. Specifically, they don’t block the windows and are mounted inside on the walls. They are also more efficient than window units, using 30% less energy on average than a comparable window unit. They can be sized to cool your entire home and they still don’t use ductwork so extreme installation methods are not needed.

The major drawback is cost. A ductless system costs much more than a window unit, usually by 5-10 fold. They are more efficient, quieter, and less obtrusive, but they require a professional installation and the units themselves are pricy. Another issue to consider is whether you rent or own your home. Renters may not be permitted to have a system installed like this as it takes up more space and requires some work that could alter the building.

Which Is Better?

So, which should you choose? It depends on the specific needs of your home. If you have two or more zones to cool and can afford to have a ductless system installed, it is a great long term solution. However, if you are a renter, only have one or two rooms to cool or you live on a higher floor of a shared building, a window unit may be sufficient for your needs.  Call G & S Heating, Cooling, & Electric to learn more about ductless splits for air conditioning.

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How to Make Your Fall City Heating System More Effective

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Everyone wants an effective heating system in Fall City – one that will provide steady, reliable heat without you having to spend hundreds of dollars each month on gas, oil or electricity. And while the best way to improve the efficiency of your heating system in most cases is to upgrade it, there are some simple things you can do around the house to boost its effectiveness. Here are some of the best:

  • Rearrange Furniture – Just having the heat on doesn’t necessarily ensure the heat entering your room is being distributed evenly. Move your furniture in such a way that there is a clear, unimpeded path from the registers and radiators to the rest of the room. Done properly, this will make it much easier to and faster to heat every room of your house.
  • Maximize Air Flow – Air flow can be maximized in a number of ways. Make sure you close any windows near a register or radiator and that you remove any large objects that might block air flow. You should also install things that can help move air like fans and always call someone in for changes to the arrangement of your vents or radiators.
  • Clean Registers or Radiators – The cleaner your radiators or dust registers are, the more efficiently they release their heat. Not only have that, but clean radiators and registers resulted in better indoor air quality. Weekly cleaning of each room’s heating source is highly recommended.
  • Install Ceiling Fans – Ceiling fans switched to blow down are incredibly effective for distributing air throughout the room. This will keep push warm air down and keeps cold air up – in effect, reducing the need for constant running of your furnace or boiler.

Effective heating is important to keep your home comfortable, reduce the cost of heating and prolong the lifespan of your furnace. You should also make sure your heating system is properly maintained throughout the year. Skipping maintenance visits (which are highly recommended annually) will put unnecessary stress on your system and shorten its lifespan substantially, not to mention the decrease in efficiency when heating your home.

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Geothermal Myths: Some Pointers from Fall City

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

As with any misunderstood technology, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions concerning geothermal heat pumps and how well they work. While these types of systems certainly have their limitations, the same is true of just about any type of heating and cooling system you could have installed in your Fall City home. But if you are really trying to evaluate whether or not a geothermal heating system is right for your home, you need to know exactly what is true about these systems and what is just not true.

For instance, there is a widely held belief that geothermal energy is not a viable heating option in areas with harsh winters. The fact is, though, that even when the air temperature outside is below freezing, the temperature several feet below ground can be as high as 55°F.

With a ground temperature like that, a geothermal heat pump will have no trouble extracting enough heat to keep your home comfortable even when it is well below freezing outside. And even when the ground freezes, the frost usually only extends three or four feet below the surface. Since the pipes for your geothermal heat pump will be at least four feet down, the frost should not affect them at all.

Also, it is common for people to assume that geothermal heat pumps will always need to have a regular heating system in place to serve as a backup. In fact, a geothermal heat pump is quite capable of providing consistent and adequate heating for your entire house as long as it is properly sized and installed. Make sure you are dealing with an experienced and qualified contractor and you will have no problems along these lines.

There are also plenty of myths floating around out there that geothermal heat pumps are just too expensive to make sense as a home heating solution. The truth is that geothermal heating costs almost nothing to operate.

While it is true the geothermal systems are quite a bit more expensive to install than many of the other options, alternative heating systems will still cost a significant amount to install and you will also have to pay much more to operate them on a regular basis. With a geothermal heating system, you pay quite a bit up front, but it is a one-time cost and there will be minimal monthly heating bills after that.

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How Effective is Geothermal Heating? A Question from Fall City

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Geothermal heating is an efficient way to use the Earth’s natural resources to heat a building’s interior. But is it an effective way to heat your Fall City home? The simple answer is yes.

Consider the cost of geothermal heating. Once you get past the initial installation costs of a geothermal heating system, which are higher than other conventional heating systems, its operating costs are much lower because of its use of a natural, renewable heat source – the Earth. If you plan to stay in your home for many years, a geothermal heating system will likely pay for itself because according to International Ground Source Heat Pump Association, geothermal operating efficiencies are 50-70% higher than other heating systems, which represents a substantial lowering of energy costs.

And according to a leading electric utility company, the cost of electricity for operating a geothermal heat pump is lower than any other heating system which includes natural gas, propane, and oil.

Beyond lower energy costs, geothermal heating leaves a smaller carbon footprint than other heating systems. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the average U.S. home is 17%, most of which comes from burning fossil fuels for electricity. Geothermal uses natural heat from the ground and therefore uses 30-60% less energy than more conventional heating and cooling systems. Using less energy equals less carbon dioxide production.

A geothermal heating system is only as effective as the equipment used to deliver it throughout the building. The most common delivery method is through a ground source heat pump. This pump pulls the heat from the earth and distributes it. When properly installed and maintained, a ground source heat pump can last 15-20 years and provide an excellent source for heating – and cooling.

The components of a geothermal system also include a compressor, air handling unit, and duct system. When all are installed and maintained correctly, a geothermal heating system will be just as effective in heating a building’s interior as any other heating system. Just be sure you hire a qualified heating and cooling professional to install and service your geothermal heating system.

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What Does the EPA Do for Indoor Air Quality: Some Tips From Kenmore

Monday, September 5th, 2011

There are a number of agencies in the United States dedicated to protecting the health and wellbeing of citizens. What does that mean for you in Kenmore? It means many of the rules and regulations related to indoor air quality are directly overseen by the EPA and the US government. For a better idea of how this impacts your currently lifestyle, here’s a quick look at what the EPA does.

Formation

The Environmental Protection Agency was formed in 1970 by Richard Nixon and the US Congress to oversee the regulation and oversight of air, water, land and hazardous waste. In short, the EPA works to keep our environment clean and safe.

The EPA and Homeowners

While much of what the EPA does relates to corporate pollution, regulations for manufacturing and consumer products, and development of safe methods of production for things like oil, food and water, the EPA has a big hand in ensuring your home stays safe.

Specifically, the EPA started and oversees the Energy Star program to help consumers purchase appliances and HVAC systems that use the least possible energy. Additionally, the EPA oversees the measurements and minimum requirements for home insulation and ventilation. This has as direct impact on indoor air quality.

Current EPA regulations are based on the ASHRAE Standards for low rise buildings and has been revised in the last two decades to ensure proper ventilation and insulation to reduce energy waste and maintain clean, fresh air.

The clean air act has a big impact on how homes are ventilated and maintained and the EPA does a lot of public service work to educate the public on ways to stay safe, including a recent campaign to get your home tested for radon – a potentially life threatening gas that can exist in any home, regardless of age.

Getting to Know the EPA

If you have an indoor air quality or suspect there may be issues in your home, one of the best resources on the Internet is the EPA’s indoor air quality website. It contains laws and regulations that impact your home (if you plan on remodeling or adding on to your home) and dozens of resources for testing and understanding the levels of pollutants in your home.

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Is it Possible to Vent Hot Air from a Garage? A Question From Duvall

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

If you have a garage in Duvall, you know how hot it can get in there on a warm summer day. In fact, the air in your garage is likely hotter and more humid than the air right outside. Of course, you may not spend a lot of time in your garage, so reducing the temperature in there might not be an immediate concern for you.

But just like heat buildup in your attic, higher temperatures in your garage can have negative effects on the temperature in the rest of your home. Heat seeping into the house from the garage will cause your air conditioning system to work harder to keep it comfortable indoors. And that’s going to cost you money.

Getting the Heat Out

For all of these reasons, it’s a good idea to reduce the temperature in your garage as soon as possible. Of course, if you’re actively working in the garage or right outside, you can always leave the door open. This allows an influx of fresh, cooler air to clear it out.

But that’s not really a practical solution when you’re not immediately on hand. After all, you can’t leave your garage door open indefinitely and as soon as you close it, the heat will start to build right back up again.

Vents and Fans

One thing we don’t want to forget is that heat rises. That means installing a vent and fan in the roof where the hottest air will be can help remove the majority of the excess heat building up in your garage. Just like an attic fan, this fan can be triggered to come on when the temperature inside the garage reaches a certain point. Usually, the fan comes on when the indoor temperature reaches a point that is likely higher than outside – 90 degrees F or higher.

The fan then draws hot air out through your vent, reducing the temperature inside the garage to equalize the outdoor temperature. This will be effective in and of itself, but if you want even better results, you can also install another vent towards the bottom of your garage door. That way, as the hot air is pulled out of the top of the garage, fresh air will be drawn in through the vent, providing a constant stream of cooler, fresh air and promoting healthy circulation within your garage.

For more energy saving tips, talk to your HVAC professional.

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Allergies – Different Products that Can Help with Different Problems in Fall City

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

One of the biggest problems related to indoor air quality, in Fall City or anywhere, is allergies. When not treated properly, excess dust, humidity, bacteria, mold, and other contaminants can cause a number of allergy problems, especially if anyone in your home has asthma and is particular sensitive to a contaminant.

Luckily, there are quite a few products on the market designed to reduce the effect of indoor allergens and help you feel comfortable all year long.

Filters

HEPA air filters are designed to capture incredibly small bits of debris in your home. They remove things like dust, mold, debris, pollen, and pet dander before they can trigger an allergic reaction. The best filters are all HEPA certified and are available either for a single room or for your entire home. The size of your home and the amount of contaminants you have will ultimately determine which filter is best for you.

Purifiers

For those with allergens beyond dust and pollen, purifiers are a good next step. Air purification is done electronically, utilizing ionization technology to remove things like gas and smoke as well as bacteria and viruses that get into your indoor air. Anyone suffering from even a mild bout of seasonal allergies can be made very uncomfortable by these types of contaminants. Advanced purification systems also come with UV germicidal lights to kill bacteria and viruses.

Ventilation

While capturing the bad stuff in your air is important, so too is getting new air into your home. Allergies are triggered as much by stale air as by the allergens in it. So, a good ventilation system is important. Simple fan units work very well for many families, but if you want to avoid the loss of heated and cooled air during the most extreme weather in your area, an energy recovery ventilator is a good alternative to straight fan ventilation.

Humidity

Finally, humidity is a big issue for many families. Dryness in the winter can make colds and flus worse and excessive humidity in the summer is a haven for things like mold. A good humidifier removes humidity when it gets too high and adds moisture to the air during the winter when it gets too dry.

Always do your research before choosing an air quality system for your home. It’s important to choose components that will help you overcome whatever allergies you face, throughout the year.

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